Why we do in a yoga class...
Has a "squeeze-and-soak" action: The organs are compressed during the twist, pushing out blood filled with toxins. When we release the twist, fresh blood flows in, carrying new oxygen, new nutrients . Twists stimulate circulation and have a cleansing and refreshing effect on the torso organs and glands.
Energize, refresh and invigorate the body. Open the chest, encouraging proper breathing. Backbends realign the spine, counteracting and re-teaching the body’s poor postures. Helps to build confidence and self-esteem
Give an internal massage as well as improve the circulation to the various organs in the abdomen: stomach, pancreas, liver, intestines and kidneys. Reduces stress, anxiety, depression and fatigue - Calms the mind and soothes the nerves. - Relieves tension in the spine, neck and back - Improves digestion.
Inversions – Downward facing dog:
Retrieves blood from your legs and lower torso, carrying it upwards against the force of gravity. Inversion allows your body to work with gravity to ease the circulation process.
Inversions provide a lymphatic wash. The lymphatic system has no pump, putting the body upside down helps speed up the process of removing waste from the body.
• Inverted poses are extremely important because they reverse the action of gravity on the body and get the blood and lymph flowing in opposite directions.
• Increases blood flow to the top of the body, improving brain function and cognition and reduces anxiety and depression.
• Takes pressure off the heart, which has to work less to get blood flowing to the brain.
• On an emotional level helps us to see things from a different angle and perspective.
Shavasana is perhaps the most important part of yoga practice. It is an integration phase where the effects of the practice are allowed to take hold and penetrate deep into the self of the practitioner.
After the exertions of the practice, Shavasana allows the body a chance to regroup and reset itself. It is intended to rejuvenate body, mind and spirit.
I have been training in various Crossfit gyms around the country for the best part of 3 years now. I was attending classes 5 times a week for the first year. The sheer volume of the training mixed with my lacklustre approach to warming-up before working out and my failure to follow a cool-down and post-stretch routine eventually took its toll on my body.
My mobility started to diminish in my lower body and shoulders. As well as that I began to experience a lot of stiffness and pain in my lower back muscles especially when performing kettlebell swings and doing heavy lifts in exercises such as deadlifts, squats, olympic lifts etc. At this point my strength gains completely plateaud and I could only train every second day due to aches, pains and general stiffness. The standard and quality of my training was beginning to decline so I decided to try Yoga in an attempt to fix the issues that had been holding me back from developing my strength and fitness. I felt confident that attending Yoga classes on a relatively regular basis would remedy my physical ailments over time.
The turnaround was quite dramatic. Within a month the tightness in my lower back had significantly decreased to the point where it was barely noticeable; my shoulder mobility had improved and the flexibility in my adductors, hamstrings and glutes had greatly increased. From that point on, my performance in Crossfit became much better. I never felt any tightness or strains when training and this allowed me to perform to my true potential. The development of my mobility and flexibility allowed me to improve my technique and therefore lift more weights when Weight lifting or Olympic lifting. I was now setting all kinds of personal records and exercises like power cleans, back squats, clean & jerk, front squats, power snatches and deadlifts were getting heavier on a weekly basis.
I am continuosly making progress in Crossfit now and thanks to the combined crosstraining effect of Yoga and Crossfit I am able to comfortably train in both disciplines 5 times a week each with no pain or discomfort. I would strongly recommend to anybody who plays sport or undertakes a lot of intense physical activity to incorporate Yoga into their regime as it has a great therapeutic effect on the body and will help you perform to the best of your ability on a regular basis.
BA Honours Degree - Exercise & Health Science
ITEC Diplomas - Personal Training
Fitness Studio Teaching
Nutrition & Diet for Complementary Therapists
Yoga Fitness Blog
I am Claudia Gutierrez, owner of Yoga Fitness, originally from Argentina and proudly Irish Citizen since 2012.